A UC-Berkeley study finds that many common lipsticks contain heavy metals like cadmium and chromium, which are both linked to breast cancer. Our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics broke the story about lead in lipstick 6 years ago, but this latest research also tested for concentrations of additional metals.
Breast Cancer Fund Director of Science Sharima Rasanayagam was quoted in The Huffington Post:
"It's definitely a preliminary study and something that needs more research, but we're concerned about there being potentially toxic chemicals in lipstick and consumers not knowing about it."
"Cadmium, for example, is a carcinogen that has been found in breast cancer biopsies and shown to cause cancer cells to multiply in lab experiments. Metals are often used in mineral dyes, which give lipstick its pigment, and are also often found in soil and groundwater. 'Cadmium is a very common contaminant in soil,' says Sharima Rasanayagam, a scientist at the Breast Cancer Fund. 'What's concerning is that consumers don't know they're in the lipstick.'"
Since cosmetics companies and the FDA have failed to take steps to protect consumers from toxic metals found in lipsticks, consumers must educate themselves about how to make safe choices. Lipstick lovers may want to start cutting back on the product, saving it for special occasions, or to choose safer options. Parents should prohibit children from wearing lipstick because toxic metals found in these products are too dangerous for developing minds and bodies.
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